Employee rights in Massachusetts contain many of the same protections you’ll find in most other states when it comes to the hiring process, payments, medical leave and job termination. If you feel that you’ve been discriminated against in your job while residing in Massachusetts, take a look at what rights you actually have. You’ll discover you have more legal protection than you might think.
The Hiring Process
A company that hires someone at will is essentially saying that you can be fired for any reason at any time. Although signing these agreements may not be advisable by an attorney, the fact of the matter is that if you want the job, then you’ll need to sign the agreement. You may be able to modify the agreement with your employer, though. Even if you sign an agreement in order to obtain a job, you still have many rights when fired for some reasons.
For instance, you shouldn’t be fired because the employer doesn’t want to pay you. Other public policy reasons for wrongful termination in Massachusetts include an employee having to do jury duty, refusing to give information on a fellow employee or testifying at a criminal trial against the company. Outside of those, however, an employer can still fire you for most other reasons, if you have an at-will agreement.
Minimum Fair Wage Law
If you work in Massachusetts, you’re always entitled to a specific state minimum wage. As of this blog post, it’s still at $8 as it’s been for a number of years. Anything less from an employer is grounds for a wage complaint to the Office of the Attorney General. The same applies to overtime payment of 1.5 times your regular pay for each hour over 40 hours in a week, unless you are a salaried employee.
Massachusetts has its own set of blue laws that pertain to employees working on Sundays. Certain guidelines have to be met that fall under how much pay an employee gets when working on Sundays or holidays. However, no employee will be forced to work on Sundays in Massachusetts. An employer cannot force you to work on Sunday by threatening to dock your pay or terminate you.
Federal law provides the Family Medical Leave Act to help employees be able to take medical leave without having their job terminated. The federal side of the law requires that you can only take medical leave if you need to care for a newborn or adopted child, take care of a family member who has an illness, or address your own health problems. In Massachusetts, you must have worked with a company of at least 50 employees for one year to qualify for medical leave benefits.
If your job was terminated with deliberate disregard for any of the above laws, you’re going to need an experienced Massachusetts employment lawyer to help you with a job discrimination case.